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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

To stuff or dress

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

To Stuff or Dress the Bird? James Beard Had It Covered
Published: November 15, 2006

STUFFING, as I’ve been informed by friends from the South, is properly called dressing when you cook it outside the bird. So I’m officially a big advocate of dressings.

Stuffings cooked outside the bird can be made in advance of the big meal.

Don’t get me wrong: cooking a bread-based mixture inside a turkey is not a bad idea. It adds moisture and flavor to a concoction that can be sadly lacking in both. However, too often stuffing absorbs too much of the cooking juices and comes out of the bird a soggy, unappealing mess. So much for gracing the Thanksgiving table.

But stuffing — excuse me, dressing — is always crisp and light if you bake it outside the bird; it takes just a little effort and a few more minutes’ work. Your guests will think you’re brilliant, especially the vegetarians, because there will be one more dish (and a good one at that) that’s vegetarian-friendly.

I’m not speaking as an inventor. The bread stuffing that’s been the staple of my Thanksgiving table for 30 years is based on a James Beard recipe, and it was his suggestion to cook it outside the turkey that got me started. Now I’m hooked.

First you make fresh bread crumbs: just whiz a few cups of slightly stale cubes of decent bread — crust and all, unless it’s super-hard — in a food processor. Keep the crumbs very, very coarse. Cook them with plenty of butter (yes, you can use olive oil) and good seasonings. Baked in a pan, this is delicious, with or without gravy.

From here, the ideas flow freely; this mixture can accommodate giblets, chopped apples, chestnuts, sausage, mushrooms, oysters or other traditional ingredients

It's veggie friendly unless you add meat.

Ok, I'm going to continue to post food articles here. But PLEASE post your recipies at

The new site is designed to hold recipies and ideas on the various holiday foods.

posted by Steve @ 1:03:00 AM

1:03:00 AM

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